Independent proposals for students to receive the equivalent of the National Living Wage during term time have been accepted by Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams.
The Welsh Lib Dems were clear during the election that they would overhaul the current funding arrangements to make students’ daily living costs the central focus of any new funding system.
The Welsh Government will implement, with only minor modification, the Diamond package, meaning that the average Welsh student could receive up to £7,000 a year in grant support, which will also be available for part-time students, from September 2018.
Cadan ap Tomos, the Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for young people, added:
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently argued that the high cost of living is the number one barrier to accessing university. It should be your ability to learn, not your ability to pay, that determines whether you can study.
“Far too many students are struggling to make ends meet. I’m proud that the Welsh Lib Dems not only listened to students by putting living costs front and centre of this debate, but that we’re now using our influence to deliver on our promise to students in May.
“With Kirsty Williams in Government, the Welsh Lib Dems will secure much-needed reforms for all students, making sure that a parent’s bank balance won’t hold any young person back from succeeding at uni.”
Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said:
“We are looking to introduce the most generous and progressive system anywhere in the UK. These plans will deliver the first system in the UK that is consistent, progressive and fair in its support for full and part-time undergraduates and for post-graduate students.
“I am clear that Wales needs a sustainable and progressive higher education funding settlement that supports students when they most need it, and, importantly, enables our universities to compete internationally.
“Our proposals are a fundamental shift so that Wales can develop a higher education funding and student finance system that really does provide for all.”